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GAO discussed the proposed Employer Sanctions Improvement Act of 1993, focusing on the bill's provisions to: (1) encourage states and individuals to participate in employment enforcement programs; and (2) improve the employment verification system. GAO noted that: (1) the bill lifts the preemption of state and local laws imposing employer sanctions and allows persons or entities harmed by violations of the ban on hiring illegal aliens to seek sanctions; (2) the bill authorizes grants to states and localities that assist in enforcing their own or federal employer sanctions programs; (3) budget cuts have reduced enforcement efforts in recent years; (4) the establishment of state employer sanction programs could further confuse employers, leading to more employment discrimination; (5) states with employer sanction laws have failed to enforce them effectively; (6) enforcement efforts could be enhanced and the Immigration and Naturalization Service's (INS) burden reduced by greater use of state employment services to verify immigrants' work status and state preliminary investigations of potential employer violations; (7) the bill would eliminate some of the 29 allowable work authorization and identification documents needed for employment verification; (8) reducing or eliminating the Attorney General's authority to add verification documents could make the system inflexible; and (9) INS is pilot testing a telephone verification system that would allow employers to access an INS database and a national registry of persons authorized to work.

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